I’ve often been accused of having done more in my life than the average person my age but if I were completely honest, I’d have to tell you my secret: I’m really 392.
So after all this time, I’m a pretty crappy writer.
I have two books published and a bunch half written (when you have eternity, where’s the reason to rush?). I’ve been favorably reviewed by horror greats like Nancy Kilpatrick, and my how-to-write-horror articles have been quoted in scholarly (aka community college freshmen’s) papers.
I enjoy the occasional Bloody Mary, although a Bloody Kathy or Susan will suffice.
Mostly, I just try to keep a low profile so people don’t figure out who I REALLY am.
What inspires you to write?
I get inspiration from very odd places (pretty much, everywhere). Stephenie Meyer influenced my voice (you can blame her that Death of the Body is written from the first person POV, which I have actually never done before), Stephen King has helped me learn how to scare people, Nancy Kilpatrick made me believe in myself, and LJ Smith is where it all started.
I have to say that my love of the supernatural was born from the ghosts that lived in my basement when I was a kid. They inspired nightmares when I was eight, which in turn inspired the stories I write today.
Tell us about your writing process.
This varies, and I’m probably all over the map. I guess you could say my writing process is more “seat of my pants” and less “structure.” I write whenever I can, wherever I am, but I suppose my favorite places to write are on airplanes, and while sitting in my living room alone at night, when the shadows come alive in the dark.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Characters really do become family, and it is fun to watch them take on a life of their own. They develop distinct personalities, and as such make decisions that I, the author, may not have originally made for them.
So while I don’t necessarily converse with my characters directly, I do dialog with them, as them, in their voice. Sometimes I’ll hash a scene over in my head so many times that it practically writes itself by the time I sit down to write it down.
What advice would you give other writers?
Publish. Publish NOW.
If you have a finished manuscript, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait for the big publishing contract that will offer you millions of dollars and movie rights. Those contracts are going to authors who already have a following, who were successful with a smaller press or in the indie market. Only a tiny tiny fraction of people get the opportunity to work with a big press without proving themselves FIRST.
And, you’re losing out on money, sales, and readers.
It is so easy to publish your work. Check out Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace, sign up for accounts, and get yourself out there.
Stop holding back. Let the readers decide if your work is “good enough.” Stop judging it yourself (‘cause it will never be good enough for you).
Go. Publish. Now. (but hire a good editor).
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first book, Facade of Shadows, was published with a small press originally. While the experience was a dream come true, small presses have their own issues and challenges, and I decided that for the Crossing Death series, I wanted full control over design, editing, pricing, and marketing, so I decided to indie publish.
As I said above, it is possible to get your work out into the world now thanks to alternate publishing avenues. These pathways allow you to start gaining followers and building a fan base all while helping you refine your work and gain the attention of larger publishing houses. I’ve been told by many people in the industry that the indie market is becoming the traditional publisher’s “slush pile.”
That said, I understand and empathize with the “self-publishing = bad” mentality. I still have my own hangups about that. With the publishing world in a state of constant change, I suggest simply doing your research, shooting for the stars, but doing whatever you need to do to make it so that people can read your writing.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
horror, dark fantasy, suspense, mystery, thriller, mythology, paranormal, urban fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
Rick Chiantaretto Home Page Link
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